NPL Undergraduate Student Samantha Lund chosen as Clare Boothe Luce Research Scholar


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NPL undergraduate Samantha (Sam) Lund was named as one of eight Clare Boothe Luce Research Scholars for the 2023-2024 academic year, congratulations! Sam (class of 2024) joined the UIUC ATLAS Zero Degree Calorimeter (ZDC) group in May of 2022, working under the supervision of Drs. Matthias Grosse Perdekamp and Riccardo Longo. A Clare Boothe Luce research scholarship provides $12,000 in support of undergraduate research during summer and the subsequent academic year. 
Sam began her work in the ZDC group as a research mentor for two high school students participating in the Young Scholars program. The high school student summer project, carried out in collaboration with fellow undergraduate student Paul Malachuk, studied the performance of light guides for the ATLAS ZDC detector. Under Sam's and Paul's guidance, two high school students (one from St. Louis, the second from Chicago) acquired skills in computer aided design, coding, and instrumentation development.
After completion of the Young Scholars project, Sam continued investigating the impact of different light guide geometries on efficiency and uniformity in light collection. Most recently, Sam has worked on the simulation, production, and experimental characterization of light guides, in collaboration with Kristopher Young and Paul Malachuk. The Clare Boothe Luce Research Award will fund the completion of Sam's work on light guides studies, informing the design of the new Zero Degree Calorimeters for ATLAS and CMS in the High-Luminosity LHC era. Thanks to the Clare Boothe Luce support, Sam will be able to join the UIUC team travelling to CERN to participate in test beam measurements for the NPL-built ATLAS Reaction Plane Detector this summer.
Sam's Clare Boothe Luce Scholarship marks the second year in a row that an NPL undergraduate student has been awarded a college-wide grant for women in STEM. Last year Farah Mohammed Rafee (class of 2023) was named a DaRin Butz Research Scholar in 2022. We are very proud of our students!

This work was supported by NSF-PHY-2111046
Illinois Physics student Samantha Lund presents her poster at CUWiP 2023. Photo by Nicole Terzian for Illinois Physics
Illinois Physics student and NPL undergraduate researcher Samantha Lund presents her poster at CUWiP 2023. Photo by Nicole Terzian for Illinois Physics 

Best poster award @ CUWiP 2023 

At the beginning of the year, Samantha took part in the 2023 edition of the Conference for Undergraduate Women in Physics (CUWiP), where she presented a poster about her research in the UIUC ATLAS ZDC group.
Her work (and her passion in presenting it) was noted as excellent, and she was awarded first place in the poster competition at the end of the conference!

Sam @ DNP
Illinois Physics student and NPL undergraduate researcher Samantha Lund presents her research work at the Conference Experience for Undergraduate session of the 2022 Division of Nuclear Physics of the APS in New Orleans.

Research presentation @ APS DNP CEU 2022

Last October, six UIUC ATLAS ZDC undergraduate researchers, including Samantha, had the opportunity to participate in the Conference Experience for Undergraduates (CEU) portion of APS' Division of Nuclear Physics fall meeting. Our students joined other budding physicists from around the country in presenting talks and posters to the nuclear physics community.
This work was partially supported by NSF-PHY-2111046.

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This story was published April 20, 2023.